Promoting Energy Programs
Promoting Energy Programs. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.
There are a lot of programs out there federal, state and and local to help defray cost of energy projects on your farm or ranch and figuring out what is the best fit for your energy projects can be difficult. That’s where Robert Wallace, Executive Director and Certified Energy Manager with Wy’East Resource Conservation and Development comes in.
WALLACE: We’re a non-profit. We help in a lot of agriculture type projects. We work a lot with community development those types of things. We used to be kind of thought of as a distant cousin of NRCS. They funded us with a coordinator and a little bit of financial assistance. A year ago when the federal budget cut happened they cut that coordinator position.
He says that’s when they struck out on their own and began working with Bonneville and their utilities on their agriculture energy conservation.
WALLACE: Since then we’ve been out and we as a non-profit have been out trying to find other funding that we can leverage towards on-farm energy conservation. And we’ve got grants - various grants like Oregon Department of Energy and were able to go out and help local producers with everything from variable frequency drives, soil moisture monitoring, pump change outs, system upgrades, a lot of it around irrigation.
Wallace says they have been working on a new program through NRCS where they go out to a local farm and perform an energy audit.
WALLACE: And then they can take that audit back to NRCS once it’s completed and the items that are recommended, NRCS will actually help them fund several of those items and what I would do myself is look for other funding that may be available whether it be through Oregon Department of Energy, whether it be through the utility, other grants that we can apply for to help local farmers with energy conservation just multiple different resources.
Wy’east has been doing this very successfully through central Oregon and now they are beginning to expand out to the rest of the state and across the region.
WALLACE: Keep in mind that a lot of times when we’re saving energy we’re also saving water so a lot times we can leverage water conservation funding into our projects and stuff. And we’ve used everything from local small grants through the conservation district, we’ve used OWeb - Oregon Water Enhancement Board lottery funding to help towards our projects
For additional information on clean energy, visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.???www.harvestcleanenergy.org